STERHNOLD Thomas; HOPKINS John; WITTINGHAM William, et al.


STERHNOLD Thomas; HOPKINS John; WITTINGHAM William, et al. The whole booke of Psalms […]

London, Imprinted for the company of stationers, 1636.


24mo. pp.330 [6]. Roman letter, little italic, musical notation. Latin titles, English lyrics. Thistle motif border to t-p and thistle ornament to next. Slight browning, occasional marginal foxing or mark, some corners dog-eared. Family presentation mss. (1854) to ffep in brown ink. Coloured silk embroidered floral motif binding with raised silver and white silk braids, slight loss to spine and edges a little worn. Decorative gauffering to all edges in overlapping semicircular pattern, a.e.g.

A charming miniature book of psalms with contemporary embroidered binding in a floral design, executed in silk shading, details in raised braid-work of silver interwoven with white silk and some silver stump work. Identical upper and lower covers comprising a large central rose in pink, white and red, with a short stem and slender leaves, filled in with silver thread. The flower is encircled by a larger plaited braid of silver and white, flanked by two smaller twisted braids. More stems and leaves arise from the framing braid. Each corner has a thistle or violet, alternately arranged, embroidered in silk shading. The thistle has a central gathering of long stitches in silver thread, either surrounded by a central light pink petal, flanked by two olive green ones, or the inverse. Each violet has five petals, three accented with blue, pink and green silk. The spine features a twisted silver braid, divided into four with two alternating motifs executed in silver braid and stumpwork, either of four pointed leaves, or a swirling decorative pattern. The thistles on the exterior mirror those found on the border of the t-p.

“In the sixteenth century embroidered work was very popular with the Tudor princesses, gold and silver thread and pearls being largely used, often with very decorative effect. The simplest of these covers are also the best—but great elaboration was often employed….Under the Stuarts the lighter featherstitch was preferred, and there seems to have been a regular trade in embroidered Bibles and Prayer-books of small size, sometimes with floral patterns, sometimes with portraits of the King, or Scriptural scenes” (Cyril Davenport, English Embroidered Bookbindings). English bindings of this types have become rare, with many lost due to looting for their precious metals or through destruction by disapproving Puritans during the Civil War. This beautiful copy contains a popular book of psalms, complete with lyrics and music, with an alphabetised table of contents at the end. These texts were translated into vernacular languages by early Protestants, who put them to the ‘rhythms of popular song’ (Krummel p.34).

An important artefact of musical history and female culture from Stuart England.

ESTC: S90798, STC 2667.2 Bodleian and Pirie copies only.
Stock Number: L4408 Category: